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Delta: using FaceTime over WIFI caused issue with crew

Delta: using FaceTime over WIFI caused issue with crew

Old Jul 21, 16, 7:39 pm
  #1  
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Delta: using FaceTime over WIFI caused issue with crew

Hi Folks,

I'm on a Delta flight from SFO to JFK. The flight is nearly empty, so I decided to purchase a ~$40 Gogo in-flight WIFI data plan, get some work done and FaceTime (Vo-ip) back home. FaceTime worked great and the quality was close to an LTE connection. I wasn't being loud or rude. There is nobody sitting around me.

10 minutes passed and a flight attendant told me to disable FaceTime because it was in violation of FAA rules. I told her it was over Gogo WIFI (Cellular doesn't work at 10,000+ feet anyway) that I purchased and there was no mention restrictions on FaceTime shown when purchasing the plan or mention of FAA rules restricting FaceTime aka Vo-ip. Long story short I disabled FaceTime and started searching for rules regarding this.

FAA doesn't appear to mention any restriction on vo-ip using WIFI. I did find mention restricting it in Gogo's Delta "terms and conditions" as follows in very small font (Jul-21-2016):

"Voice service is not permitted nor supported."

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_...ght-wi-fi.html

I do not recall seeing any mention of this when Gogo offered me the $40/flight plan.

Gogo could block FaceTime but it does not. I'm happy to follow the rules, however am very confused on the background for restricting vo-ip or FaceTime on flights. It's going over the legally approved WIFI, the service could be blocked by Gogo if it really interfered with bandwidth and in past years airplanes had a phone in front of every seat. Is it a noise issue? If so, then why the phones in planes a few years back? Perhaps the added income was enough for airlines to allow talking on the phone in flight.

Interesting in your thoughts.

Thanks
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Old Jul 21, 16, 7:43 pm
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Welcome to FT. I'll move this to the Delta forum.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 7:49 pm
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Delta, thankfully so, does not allow voice/video 'phone' calls. There was loud outcry, so to speak, when the policy was under review.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 7:53 pm
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I turned on WiFi calling on my phone a few months back. When my phone rang on the plane, it was a bit of a surprise. Didn't take the call, needless to say. Got some looks from people around me, since we were 35k feet over Greenland at that point...
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Old Jul 21, 16, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by npapadon View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm on a Delta flight from SFO to JFK. The flight is nearly empty, so I decided to purchase a ~$40 Gogo in-flight WIFI data plan, get some work done and FaceTime (Vo-ip) back home. FaceTime worked great and the quality was close to an LTE connection. I wasn't being loud or rude. There is nobody sitting around me.

10 minutes passed and a flight attendant told me to disable FaceTime because it was in violation of FAA rules. I told her it was over Gogo WIFI (Cellular doesn't work at 10,000+ feet anyway) that I purchased and there was no mention restrictions on FaceTime shown when purchasing the plan or mention of FAA rules restricting FaceTime aka Vo-ip. Long story short I disabled FaceTime and started searching for rules regarding this.
Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
Delta, thankfully so, does not allow voice/video 'phone' calls. There was loud outcry, so to speak, when the policy was under review.
Welcome to FT!

Someone smarter than I can probably state which port FaceTime operates through. Since it was working GoGo probably does not block it. That being said I would venture to guess the broad majority of PAX are not as considerate as the OP.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by tvtd View Post
Welcome to FT!

Someone smarter than I can probably state which port FaceTime operates through. Since it was working GoGo probably does not block it. That being said I would venture to guess the broad majority of PAX are not as considerate as the OP.
Port blocking is a thing of the past. Nowadays Next Generation Firewalls are used, which block traffic at the application layer and not at the network layer. FaceTime uses port 443 mainly, just like any other HTTPS application.

The Next Generation firewalls will detect the applications sending/receiving traffic through port 443 and will allow the Administrators to block specific applications.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:22 pm
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If FAA even remotely proposed authorizing carriers to permit any form of audio/video 2-way communication of any kind, the reaction would be quite predictable.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by npapadon View Post
Interesting in your thoughts.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If FAA even remotely proposed authorizing carriers to permit any form of audio/video 2-way communication of any kind, the reaction would be quite predictable.
The FAA does not prohibit VoIP or video calling over wifi.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mnbp View Post
I don't think Delta's or GoGo's terms and conditions are an actual law are they?
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by npapadon View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm on a Delta flight from SFO to JFK. The flight is nearly empty, so I decided to purchase a ~$40 Gogo in-flight WIFI data plan, get some work done and FaceTime (Vo-ip) back home. FaceTime worked great and the quality was close to an LTE connection. I wasn't being loud or rude. There is nobody sitting around me.

10 minutes passed and a flight attendant told me to disable FaceTime because it was in violation of FAA rules. I told her it was over Gogo WIFI (Cellular doesn't work at 10,000+ feet anyway) that I purchased and there was no mention restrictions on FaceTime shown when purchasing the plan or mention of FAA rules restricting FaceTime aka Vo-ip. Long story short I disabled FaceTime and started searching for rules regarding this.

FAA doesn't appear to mention any restriction on vo-ip using WIFI. I did find mention restricting it in Gogo's Delta "terms and conditions" as follows in very small font (Jul-21-2016):

"Voice service is not permitted nor supported."

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_...ght-wi-fi.html

I do not recall seeing any mention of this when Gogo offered me the $40/flight plan.

Gogo could block FaceTime but it does not. I'm happy to follow the rules, however am very confused on the background for restricting vo-ip or FaceTime on flights. It's going over the legally approved WIFI, the service could be blocked by Gogo if it really interfered with bandwidth and in past years airplanes had a phone in front of every seat. Is it a noise issue? If so, then why the phones in planes a few years back? Perhaps the added income was enough for airlines to allow talking on the phone in flight.

Interesting in your thoughts.

Thanks
Please, no. VoiP calling is excluded on Gogo and no one in their right mind should want otherwise.

The FAA regulation bit is because, technically, Delta files its op specs and policies with the FAA, which then ratifies them, making them loosely FAA regulations.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:48 pm
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Emirates has service that allows your cell to connect via on board cell network. It's not an FAA issue, but FTC. The equipment obviousaly meets FAA standards or it wouldn't be allowed. FTC rules prohibit you from using your cell (without the special on board equipment like Emirates) because of issues with the fact you're moving from tower to tower quickly, plus at altitude you could end up connecting with a non-provider tower (roam) even though you're in an area your provider serves. Thus you can have major billing issues, on top of network issues trying to move you from tower to tower very quickly.

As for GoGo, it's a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy for Gogo. Again not a FAA violation. I'm not sure how Federal law views violations of ISP AUPs. I highly doubt it rises to a criminal violation, but I know they've tried to make it so.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by SDQBound View Post
The Next Generation firewalls will detect the applications sending/receiving traffic through port 443 and will allow the Administrators to block specific applications.
How do you do traffic inspection on 443 without causing invalid certificate security warnings? You can look at the destination addresses, sure. I'm not primarily an Apple guy, so dunno if FaceTime always goes through the same set of servers where they could block 443 to a certain IP range.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 10:45 pm
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Stop being a smart alec with the semantics. You are making a voice-call which also has video, you were in the wrong 100%.

Also, blocking SIP @ UDP 5060 would be the easier solution.
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Last edited by The BNA Gentleman; Jul 21, 16 at 10:55 pm
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Old Jul 22, 16, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by ThePinkUnicornShirtGuy View Post
Stop being a smart alec with the semantics. You are making a voice-call which also has video, you were in the wrong 100%.

Also, blocking SIP @ UDP 5060 would be the easier solution.
It's a major difference between the FAA/FTC prohibiting something, and an ISP AUP prohibiting something. One is criminal matter, the other is simply a contract matter. FA pretending the FAA prohibits something is misrepresentation. Also I've seen multiple people use it in the air. They might get a look at first, but the FAs once they know it's not a cell have never said anything.

I do wonder why GoGo doesn't block VOIP. It's not like it's that hard, or that multiple other ISPs don't do that very thing.
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